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Most popular Reader stories of 2017

Porn and Jehovah's Witnesses top the headlines

Image by mactrunk/thinkstock
See just how young 18 is.

San Diego's Porn Studios

Fourteen women, ranging in age from 18 through 22, including one still in high school, may have felt like stars when they walked into the Hard Rock Hotel and the Kimptbn's Hotel Palomar in downtown San Diego. But a few hours later they left feeling degraded, abused, underpaid, and humiliated. That’s what four of them allege in a lawsuit they filed in June 2016 against Matthew Wolfe, Michael Pratt, Andre Garcia, and their popular amateur website, girlsdoporn.com. Six months later, ten other women joined the lawsuit.

By Dorian Hargrove, January 4 | Read full article

Duffin was struggling to cover the restaurant’s $4,700 monthly rent.

Jennie's Cafe in Oceanside closed — drug overdose

Before she opened Jennie’s Cafe, Jennie Duffin was a waitress at the now shuttered Grubby’s Diner across the street. “She pretty much built it with her own sweat and blood and labor from all her friends,” says the insider.

According to a person close to the situation, Jennie’s Café had permanently closed its doors on Wednesday, May 10.

The next day, May 11, Jennie and two others were found dead in her Vista home.

By Ken Leighton, May 16 | Read full article

Complaints of molestations to leaders of Jehovah’s Kingdom Hall in Linda Vista accomplished nothing, according to court documents.

Judge orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to release molestation files

The mission of Jehovah’s Witnesses is to spread belief in the Bible in hopes of rescuing folks before the world ends.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ attorneys seem to have another mission: do anything to keep internal documents revealing the names of alleged child molesters, and the congregations they attended, from seeing the light of day.

By Dorian Hargrove, August 30 | Read full article

Lukas Gage: at San Dieguito High, he was known just as one of the local surfers.

American Vandal mockumentary of Oceanside High doesn't ring a bell

IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, reports the show is “true crime satire.” However the story is fictional, as far as anyone can remember, including retired Sgt. Tom Bussy, now the Oceanside police department’s information officer. Bussy grew up in the area and was a surfer. “I would have remembered that if it happened here,” said Bussy. The story idea probably came, according to Gage, from various reports of vandalism on high school campuses around the country.

By Ken Harrison, August 10 | Read full article

Jehovah's Witnesses' withheld info will cost them

In 2012, former parishioners José Lopez and Osbaldo Padron sued the Watchtower over abuse they had suffered while members of the Linda Vista congregation at the hands of former elder Gonzalo Campos.

Just months prior to their lawsuit, the kingdom had settled with five other victims whom Campos abused from 1982 to 1999 while serving at the Linda Vista and La Jolla congregations.

Then, in 2015, a trial judge in the Osbaldo case also determined the church was withholding documents. However, instead of issuing terminating sanctions, the judge followed the appellate court's advice and imposed daily sanctions of $4000.

By Dorian Hargrove, November 10 | Read full article

Items in the county-issued hygiene kit, of which approximately 2400 have been distributed

Plastic-bag ban led to hep A health crisis?

“The plastic bag ban is the main reason for the hepatitis outbreak,” says the homeless man who writes the Homeless Survival Guide. “The hepatitis outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.”

Homeless people learned long ago that pooping in plastic-bag-lined containers meant you could wrap the session up and dispose of all the stuff without touching it, he said in a long email. So when it got harder to get the bags after the ban went into effect late last year, it became harder to find the bags and people who were able to keep things clean had to work a lot harder.

Plenty of people discounted the plastic-bag theory but San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten was not one of them.

By Marty Graham, September 8 | Read full article

Hodads interior. "We have service animals in here all the time."

German shepherd creates scene at Hodad's

Fredrick Altman thought he was just going for a burger with his family at Hodad's on May 17. But what should have been a lunch out on a beautiful day at the beach, turned into a nasty video accusing the staff at Hodad's of discrimination of a man with his service dog.

By Mercy Baron, May 21 | Read full article

The published threat is a little too serious to call a meme.

Jihadists threaten San Diego's Mormon temple

An image of a terrorist holding an assault rifle was superimposed on the Mormon temple, which appears to be on fire. The two towering spires rise up on either side of the jihadist. A statement at the bottom of the image reads, “Coming Soon..#San_Diego.” The words “Coming Soon” are wrapped in Christmas decorations and splattered with red.

By Eric Bartl, December 4 | Read full article

Andre Garcia

San Diego pornographers accused of hustling models

Two more women have filed lawsuits against San Diego-based amateur pornography website, GirlsDoPorn.com.

The new complaints make 16 women who allege that the website's owners lied to them about distribution and later posted their names online despite having promised them anonymity.

As first reported by the Reader, 14 women, all between the ages of 18 and 22, sued the website, its parent company BLL Media, the owners, and the actor, Andre Garcia in June 2016.

The latest complaint, filed on September 7, includes many of the same allegations.

By Dorian Hargrove, September 12 | Read full article

Horton Plaza was “the catalyst for downtown San Diego’s dramatic rebirth.”

Horton Plaza has gone to seed

In 1988, Horton Plaza was the third-most-visited place in San Diego after the zoo and SeaWorld. Now it’s not even the third-most-visited mall. When Max Nash was writing restaurant reviews for the Reader, he favorably reviewed the rooftop Napa Valley Grille, taking particular note of its pork chop. That space is now a comedy club, even the Ben & Jerry’s is gone, and Taco Bell looks like the biggest restaurant. Stalking the mall’s staggered levels, I counted over 30 vacant spaces, their windows papered to hide the emptiness within.

By Matthew Lickona, August 30 | Read full article

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Image by mactrunk/thinkstock
See just how young 18 is.

San Diego's Porn Studios

Fourteen women, ranging in age from 18 through 22, including one still in high school, may have felt like stars when they walked into the Hard Rock Hotel and the Kimptbn's Hotel Palomar in downtown San Diego. But a few hours later they left feeling degraded, abused, underpaid, and humiliated. That’s what four of them allege in a lawsuit they filed in June 2016 against Matthew Wolfe, Michael Pratt, Andre Garcia, and their popular amateur website, girlsdoporn.com. Six months later, ten other women joined the lawsuit.

By Dorian Hargrove, January 4 | Read full article

Duffin was struggling to cover the restaurant’s $4,700 monthly rent.

Jennie's Cafe in Oceanside closed — drug overdose

Before she opened Jennie’s Cafe, Jennie Duffin was a waitress at the now shuttered Grubby’s Diner across the street. “She pretty much built it with her own sweat and blood and labor from all her friends,” says the insider.

According to a person close to the situation, Jennie’s Café had permanently closed its doors on Wednesday, May 10.

The next day, May 11, Jennie and two others were found dead in her Vista home.

By Ken Leighton, May 16 | Read full article

Complaints of molestations to leaders of Jehovah’s Kingdom Hall in Linda Vista accomplished nothing, according to court documents.

Judge orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to release molestation files

The mission of Jehovah’s Witnesses is to spread belief in the Bible in hopes of rescuing folks before the world ends.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ attorneys seem to have another mission: do anything to keep internal documents revealing the names of alleged child molesters, and the congregations they attended, from seeing the light of day.

By Dorian Hargrove, August 30 | Read full article

Lukas Gage: at San Dieguito High, he was known just as one of the local surfers.

American Vandal mockumentary of Oceanside High doesn't ring a bell

IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, reports the show is “true crime satire.” However the story is fictional, as far as anyone can remember, including retired Sgt. Tom Bussy, now the Oceanside police department’s information officer. Bussy grew up in the area and was a surfer. “I would have remembered that if it happened here,” said Bussy. The story idea probably came, according to Gage, from various reports of vandalism on high school campuses around the country.

By Ken Harrison, August 10 | Read full article

Jehovah's Witnesses' withheld info will cost them

In 2012, former parishioners José Lopez and Osbaldo Padron sued the Watchtower over abuse they had suffered while members of the Linda Vista congregation at the hands of former elder Gonzalo Campos.

Just months prior to their lawsuit, the kingdom had settled with five other victims whom Campos abused from 1982 to 1999 while serving at the Linda Vista and La Jolla congregations.

Then, in 2015, a trial judge in the Osbaldo case also determined the church was withholding documents. However, instead of issuing terminating sanctions, the judge followed the appellate court's advice and imposed daily sanctions of $4000.

By Dorian Hargrove, November 10 | Read full article

Items in the county-issued hygiene kit, of which approximately 2400 have been distributed

Plastic-bag ban led to hep A health crisis?

“The plastic bag ban is the main reason for the hepatitis outbreak,” says the homeless man who writes the Homeless Survival Guide. “The hepatitis outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.”

Homeless people learned long ago that pooping in plastic-bag-lined containers meant you could wrap the session up and dispose of all the stuff without touching it, he said in a long email. So when it got harder to get the bags after the ban went into effect late last year, it became harder to find the bags and people who were able to keep things clean had to work a lot harder.

Plenty of people discounted the plastic-bag theory but San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten was not one of them.

By Marty Graham, September 8 | Read full article

Hodads interior. "We have service animals in here all the time."

German shepherd creates scene at Hodad's

Fredrick Altman thought he was just going for a burger with his family at Hodad's on May 17. But what should have been a lunch out on a beautiful day at the beach, turned into a nasty video accusing the staff at Hodad's of discrimination of a man with his service dog.

By Mercy Baron, May 21 | Read full article

The published threat is a little too serious to call a meme.

Jihadists threaten San Diego's Mormon temple

An image of a terrorist holding an assault rifle was superimposed on the Mormon temple, which appears to be on fire. The two towering spires rise up on either side of the jihadist. A statement at the bottom of the image reads, “Coming Soon..#San_Diego.” The words “Coming Soon” are wrapped in Christmas decorations and splattered with red.

By Eric Bartl, December 4 | Read full article

Andre Garcia

San Diego pornographers accused of hustling models

Two more women have filed lawsuits against San Diego-based amateur pornography website, GirlsDoPorn.com.

The new complaints make 16 women who allege that the website's owners lied to them about distribution and later posted their names online despite having promised them anonymity.

As first reported by the Reader, 14 women, all between the ages of 18 and 22, sued the website, its parent company BLL Media, the owners, and the actor, Andre Garcia in June 2016.

The latest complaint, filed on September 7, includes many of the same allegations.

By Dorian Hargrove, September 12 | Read full article

Horton Plaza was “the catalyst for downtown San Diego’s dramatic rebirth.”

Horton Plaza has gone to seed

In 1988, Horton Plaza was the third-most-visited place in San Diego after the zoo and SeaWorld. Now it’s not even the third-most-visited mall. When Max Nash was writing restaurant reviews for the Reader, he favorably reviewed the rooftop Napa Valley Grille, taking particular note of its pork chop. That space is now a comedy club, even the Ben & Jerry’s is gone, and Taco Bell looks like the biggest restaurant. Stalking the mall’s staggered levels, I counted over 30 vacant spaces, their windows papered to hide the emptiness within.

By Matthew Lickona, August 30 | Read full article

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